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Christianity and Judaism in the Wake of the Holocaust

            In the wake of the Holocaust, there are many dilemmas that must be faced by a variety of people. Two of the most affect groups are the Christians and the Jews and their respective religions. After such a horrifying tragedy, how can a religion survive? How can one believe in a God that could allow such evil to happen? More importantly, how do these religions deal with theodicy, evil in a God-created world, in the wake of the Holocaust? Finally, does God exist, or did he die with the execution of the Holocaust? These questions have been the main area of study for many scholars since the end of World War II. The Holocaust was an event that changed history forever; it was an event that changed lives, took lives, and forever distorted the way in which many religious individuals look at the God that they had always trusted. In this discussion of theodicy, there are many sides. Some scholars believe that Jews should simply become pagans and distrust God forever. One belief is that the victims of the Holocaust are similar to victims of child abuse, where God is the abuser. Other scholars tend to combine the works of many respected intellectuals to form unique opinions on how God's role has changed in the lives of Christians and Jews alike. Yet what is most important is how these two distinct groups are functioning today, in a world that has been turned upside-down and in which their one and only savior may be nothing more than an abusive father who cannot be depended on. .
             From a scholarly standpoint, there are five important intellectuals who have studied extensively on the ideas of theodicy surrounding the Holocaust. Each has something in common, while each also has a very distinct point-of-view just as some are stronger arguments than others. To begin with, John T. Pawlikowski, a professor of Social Ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, discusses, in depth, the ideas surrounding the Holocaust and the convictions and hardships that occurred in the wake of this event.

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